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Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday backed the imposition of lockdowns on villages whose residents continue to defy government guidelines on the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Yes and we are supporting the local chief executives kung magdedesisyon na ganyan. Meron talagang mga barangay na sobrang pasaway,” Año said during a Laging Handa briefing.

Año said residents are likely to get out of their houses once police officers are no longer visible.

He also urged the local government units (LGUs) to pass ordinances sanctioning people for breach of quarantine guidelines.

“Hinihikayat din natin yung mga LGUs na magpasa ng ordinansa na magpapataw ng anumang parusa lalo na yung pagmumulta para kung sakali meron ganun ordinansa ipatupad natin para naman madala ‘yung mga tao,” Año pointed out.

Año said LGUs can impose penalties such as imprisonment and a fine of a maximum of P2,000.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso ordered a total lockdown of Barangay 20 following reports that residents gathered for an amateur boxing match held on its street.

Año also clarified that curfew is only applied to Visayas and Mindanao as Luzon is now under an ECQ.

“Ang emphasis talaga natin is sumunod yung tao kasi balewala lahat ng ginagawa nating ito kapag patuloy na lalabas ang mga tao [Our emphasis is for the people to follow because our efforts will be in vain if the people keep on going out of their houses],” he said.

Under the terms of the e-inquest of the Department of Justice, those arrested for violation of curfew and other guidelines of the ECQ would be taken to the police stations where they would be presented to government prosecutors using various applications that offer video chat or video conference.

Violators who are charged, however, cannot post bail since courts are physically closed as a result of the ECQ. (PNA)

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